Category Archives: Civil Disobedience

Bank of America refuses to close customer’s account.

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It seems that todays Action by US UnCut reached at least one person and that person was so moved that they proudly walked into the Bank of America to close her account. But, when she came out of the bank she was in shock and near tears. When asked why? The response was “The manager asked me why I wanted to close my account. I told him it was because Bank of America pays no taxes. The manager then refused to close my account and said if I did not leave he would call the police.” The person has asked that her name not be used but has sworn that she will go to another branch and close her account on Monday.

I say that we ALL close our accounts and move our accounts to a Credit Union or a locally owned bank; I will be doing this first thing tomorrow. Dr. Martin Luther King and Gandi both taught us to speak “with your money” and they both talked about Boycotts. This is something that we as Americans need to do!

I am not asking you to do something that I am not willing to do, I am asking you to do what myself and others are doing, including the Wisconsin Firemen and Policemen, and bring your money back to your local banks, credit unions and savings and loans. It may not seem like much but every dollar you take back is one less they can earn interest on and buy politicians!

Dr King said it best and I will close with a quote from his “Mountaintop Speech”

Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation.

US UnCut Chicago March 26th Action (Photo’s)

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Today I went to the US UnCut Chicago action and took some photo’s. I enjoyed seeing so many people out on such a cold day exercising their First Amendment Right!

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US Uncut – Bank of America protest Tips!

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If you are going to protest tomorrow in solidarity with US UnCut’s International “Day of Action” here are some tips you might find useful

Tips and Action Ideas from US Uncut San Francisco

Part 1: Intervention inside banking center
Materials
• Fake BoA checks (to USA c/o Tax Paying Citizens. Print as double-sided document with “fine print” on back)
• Fake BoA credit card applications (filed by Tax Paying Citizens for USA)
• Fake BoA loan applications (filed by Tax Paying Citizens for USA)
• Fake BoA banker name tags (formatted for standard address label sheets (Avery 5660); print on glossy sticker
paper for best quality)

Roles
• Fake BoA customers (appear as a customer or potential customer. Don’t bring visible US Uncut signage)
• Fake BoA bankers (wear suits and attach BoA banker name tags)

Part 2 – Street Theater / Public Spectacle
Materials:
• US Uncut signs (make your own or download here: http://usuncut.org/actions/howto)
• People for teach-ins, Billionaires or Wealthcare, fake bankers, … or other roles if you decide to do a creative
action.

Part 3 – Inform the Pubic / Invite them to Join
Materials:
• Fliers with info about US Uncut, your chapter’s Facebook page, our corporate tax dodging targets, and examples
of programs/services/benefits being cut due to this corporate greed. (The checks have some of this info printed
on the back and can be handed out as fliers)

How to make homemade paints.

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A few days ago I wrote about how to make sidewalk chalk. After a bit of testing I wanted something that was more vivid in color. Then my daughter smiled at me after drinking her Kool-aid and as I wiped off her little face I realized the answer was staring me in the face.
Ahh, Koolaid the high sugar power drink for kids! Now we can use it to power our message that we are mobilizing and taking back our government.

Below are three recipes that I tested. * Note I did substitute, Mixade, a less expensive version of Kool-Aid.

  1. Flour based paint
    • Directions: In a large pot add 3 cups of water and 3 tbsp of oil. Bring to a boil and add the following:
    • 2 cups flour
    • 2 packs unsweetened Mixade or Kool-Aid
    • 1/2 cup salt
      This recipe makes a very good consistency and makes really vivid colors!
  2. Cornstarch based Paint
    I then tried a variation on the corn starch that I used for chalk. This time I added more cornstarch and the Mixade instead of food coloring. 

    • Directions: Mix cornstarch and water in a saucepan and stir until mixture thickens.
    • Allow to cool, then add Mixade.
    • This one makes very vivid colors too.
  3. Corn Syrup based Paint
    • This one is simple and has but two ingredients
    • Directions:
    • Pour corn syrup into bowl.
    • Add your favorite color of Mixade
    • For this one you have to have time for it to dry but it paints very nicely almost like traditional paint.
    • Also be aware that this is sticky!

I suggest that you use a small roller with a square bucket for ease of use. Also, if you do use these let me know your results and send photo’s.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Glenn Beck and Workers Rights

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This week I was flipping through the channels and saw Glenn Beck mention “collective bargaining” and I thought, hmm I wonder what whacky thing he is going to say now. To my shock and horror he took a quote from AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka and twisted it around to besmirch the legacy of Dr. King.

On his show, Mr. Beck discusses a quote from a speech that Mr. Trumka recently gave regarding an upcoming “day of solidarity.” Mr. Beck reads a portion of a transcript of the speech where Trumka asks that April 4th, 2011 be “a day to stand in solidarity with working people of Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and a dozen other states, where well-funded right-wing corporate politicians are trying to take away the rights that Dr. King gave his life for.” At this point, Glenn Beck stopped, saying:

“Wait, wait, hold it, just a second. Dr. King lost his life for collective bargaining for the public unions, really?”

Mr. Beck is, once again, trying to reinterpret history by using logical fallacies to distract from what Mr. Trumka really said. I challenge anyone in today’s media to twist facts and statements as well as Mr. Beck does.

Dr. Martin Luther King did give his life for Civil Rights, and the right to assemble and to protest are part of that. If our government fails to “Be true to what you said on paper”, as Dr. King said in his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, which is exactly what Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and other States are doing, then they are violating our Civil Rights. And that is exactly what Dr. King believed in and died for.
Further more on the night before his death Dr. King asked the question, to the crowd at the Mason Temple, “If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?” Obviously, Mr. Beck has no clue what it means to stand up for the oppressed and to have principles that you are willing to die for as Dr. King did.

In his “Mountaintop” speech, Dr. King, said “Something is happening in our world. The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; New York City; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; or Memphis, Tennessee” These words were true then and are still true today and I suggest that Mr. Beck go back to school and study his history to see what happens next when the people finally rise up.

Dr. King’s Speech

Sources:

I’ve Been to the Mountaintop Speech

AFSCME Video on Dr. King and Unions.

Glenn Beck Rant from Crooksandliars.com

US UnCut Chicago’s planned Action for Saturday March 26th

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US Uncut will be meeting up at Caribou Coffee at 3240 North Ashland between 12:30 and 1 PM.

#####EMBARGOED and CONFIDENTIAL#####
#####Email info@usuncutchicago dot org for specific information######

PLEASE COME OUT! You’ll have made your voice heard within an hour.

ALSO – There will be additional collateral for independent activism that you can take with you to spread the word.

FINALLY – I will be at New Wave Coffee on Friday afternoon: 2557 North Milwaukee with some handout material, as well as some super sexy subversive collateral –
I would tell you more – but it has to be an “off line” conversation. Please email me at info@usuncutchicago dot org for info.
__________________________________________________

Standing in solidarity with the Uncut movement across the globe – Saturday March 26th marks the Uncut’s movement second Global Day of Action!

Still not feeling the urgency? Let’s have a look at what the Greedy Ba$tard$ have up their sleeve for their next trick:

http://illinoisisbroke.org/

Read it and weep – who’s behind it you ask? This lovely bunch of corporate types: http://www.civiccommittee.org/

These are the people who shovel money hand over fist into our electoral politics. They are they ones with the $$$ that buys their influence in our political discourse. They are the ones with the ear of our lawmakers.

It’s time those lawmakers who only seem to hear the voice of money talking, start listening to us.

We’re going to make them think twice before they vote to enact another tax holiday. Or continue to listen to the voice of money over the voice of the people who elect them.

If you haven’t been able to participate yet, now’s as good a time as any. We’re planning more demos going into the summer, and on-going actions incorporating street art and satirical demonstrations. There’s a lot of opportunities to spread the word, and we’ve got plenty of handout material.

If you have any questions, please – post them here. Or email us at info at usuncutchicago.org.

We need feet in the street. Your feet will do quite nicely. So put on some comfortable shoes and a smile. Bring a friend, bring two! You’re all necessary – and needed.

Bernie Sanders book “The Speech” and how Disabled Veterans are ignored by Republicans.

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This past week I was introduced to the work of Senator Bernie Sanders. All I can say is WOW! This guy is saying exactly what I and lots of Americans have been thinking.

In his book “The Speech” he lays out why the “agreement” on extending tax breaks for the rich between President Obama and the Republican party is not good for the American people. Senator Sanders also points out why the Estate tax will not affect 99.7% of Americans and how the Rich are getting tax breaks while Disabled Veterans get ignored.

Some of the examples, he brings to light, are as follows:

  • The tax break will benefit the top 2 percent of Millionaire and Billionaires, some who say they do not need it. Two of them saying this are two of the richest people in America, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. (Sanders, pg 14)
  • The tax break will add $700 BILLION to our national debt if approved, as the Republicans wanted for 10 years.(Sanders, pg 14)
  • The tax break, for the richest, will be financed by working Americans and the debt will most likely carry over to be paid for by our children and grandchildren.
  • That the “Death Tax” will NOT affect 99.7 percent of Americans and is applicable to only the “very, very, very rich.” (Sanders, pg 16) For example the Walton Family, owners of Walmart, worth $89.6 billion, WILL receive a “$32.7 BILLION tax break!” (Sanders, pg 41). The importance of understanding this that is you are moderately rich, middle class or poor “you do not pay one nickel in estate tax.” (Sanders, pg 41) Also, the “agreement between the President and the Republicans… significantly lowers the rates the richest people, the very richest people in this country, would have to pay.” (Sanders, pg 41)
  • That while the Republicans were passing out short term loans to: Goldman Sachs $780 Billion, Morgan Stanley over $2 Trillion, Citigroup $2.4 Trillion and Merrill Lynch $2.2 Trillion (Sanders, pg 29) they shot down a COLA check to DISABLED VETERANS, (full disclosure – I am a disabled Vet) Senator Sanders legislation was going to give veterans a one time check of $250.00 to offset the rising cost of their prescriptions. Given that veterans have not gotten a COLA adjustment in two years it seems reasonable.
    Yet Senator Sanders could not get ONE Republican vote for it. Some veterans live on $20,000 a year and they could not get a $250.00 check! The Republicans on the other hand were happy to give someone making $50 Million a year an extra $1,000,000 in tax breaks. As Senator Sanders said in his landmark speech “If you are very, very rich, the good news is you are going to get more tax breaks. But if you are a.. disabled vet, we can’t get you a $250 check.” (Sanders, pg 42)
  • The four largest banks in this country, “Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup issue 1/2 of all mortgages in this country.” (Sanders, pg 33) The aforementioned banks who foreclosed on millions of people in recent years were the very same banks who were bailed-out by the same people whom they had just kicked out of their homes.
  • The same banks, who failed as a business and were bailed-out, paid out HUGE bonuses to their CEO’s. John Mack the CEO of Morgan Stanley received, at the time the largest bonus ever to a Wall Street executiv, $40 million.
    Ken Lewis, Former CEO of Bank of America received $147 million in total compensation and his company paid ZERO taxes on a profit of $4.2 billion.
    The CEO of JPMorgan, James Dimon, received $110 million in compensation all while his company was receiving “hundred of billions in low-interest loans” from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department (Sanders, pg 26).
    I am not sure about you but my bonus was tied into my ability to do my work. If I lead my company down a path of destruction and needed loans to recover I am damned if I would get a bonus!
    All of this was occurring while Vets could not get a measly $250 check, the unemployment rate soared, and the Rich got Richer!

Well I could go on and on but I think by now you get the gist of the message. If you want to read the speech itself please visit Bernie Sanders website
You can also download the transcript here
You can also buy the book from your local bookstore too.
I have posted the beginning of the 8.5 hour speech below from Senator Sanders youtube Channel

I will close with another quote from Senator Bernie Sanders.

“This is a transfer of wealth. It is Robin Hood in reverse. We are taking from the middle class and working families and we are giving it to the wealthiest people in this country.” It is “driving up the national debt so our kids can pay more taxes in order to pay off that debt.”

Sanders, B. (2011). The Speech. New York: Nations Books

US UnCut Boston’s “Teach-In” at Bank of America

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This past weekend US Uncut Chapters in Philadelphia, New York, California and Georgia held protests at Bank of America’s. Here in Chicago we had a meeting to plan for the upcoming, larger, nationwide protests.

On Saturday March 26th, in addition to Chicago, over thirty cities have protests planned. Please see who has signed up, if there is one in your area, then add your voice to the growing multitudes. If you live Chicago, please, join our Meetup Group, our Facebook Page , or US UnCut Chicago web-page to keep in touch with upcoming events and join in the fun.

The video below is from our sister chapter in Boston’s teach-in. To see what to expect at a protest please watch the video.

How to make Spray Chalk!

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Today my daughter and I decided to show how to make Spray Chalk. It of course has many uses including not just protest sidewalk banners.

Update after testing I recommend doubling the amount of corn starch! The original made a nice spray on porous material but was a bit weak on concrete. Also add more color as you see fit.

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Tax Dodgers, Banks, Senator Thomas Benton and Andrew Jackson

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If you watch the news or even Faux news you might think that the current pandering to the banking institutions is something new and acceptable, well, it is not. Since our Nation’s early days, when Andrew Jackson was president 1829-1837, the National Bank of America, not unlike the current one, was chartered to be a private bank.

-Imagine that, using public money to fund a private bank-

Those that opposed the bank felt that the privatization would mostly benefit business interests and take advantage of the people to whom it loaned money. The other issue that people had against the National Bank was that to fund it new tax laws (loopholes) were going to be passed by Congress to support it. President Andrew Jackson listened to the people and acted so swiftly that Senator Thomas Benton said that in all of history only the actions of, the Roman, Cicero were equal to “what Jackson did for us when he destroyed the bank conspiracy and saved America.”

If in the 1800’s they were against funding private banks then why are we handing out money to save Wall Street and allowing tax dodgers such as Bank of America to make huge profits, according to sources over 3 BILLION dollars, and pay ZERO taxes. If Bank of America, alone, paid their taxes we could put nearly 1.7 Billion back into education, Veterans Benefits, Social Security and many other programs.

Are you willing to continue to pay taxes so that banks such as Bank of America does not have to? Are you willing to give your children less educational opportunities so that the CEO’s can have more money in their offshore account? Are you willing to put your elderly parents out on the street so that Investors of the aforementioned bank can retire in luxury? Are you willing give pregnant women less prenatal care so that Bank of America’s women can have just that little bit more?
Well I for one am not willing to let them continue the fleecing of this great Nation! It is time to take action and let the voices of “We the People” be heard!

Below are a few places you can go to start taking action.

US Uncut
Moveon.org
The Coffee Party
http://www.civilrights.org/

American Veterans (AmVets)
Change.org
Credoaction.com